WEST had quite a problem with his opening lead, none of the four suits looking at all attractive. Eventually he made the unorthodox start of his singleton club, which did prove to give nothing away. Declarer won with dummy’s ace and cashed two more rounds of clubs. Suppose you had been sitting West. Which two cards would you have discarded? At the table, West threw one spade and one heart. When the ace and queen of hearts were played, East showed out on the second round, revealing that West had almost certainly started with 5-5-1 shape. Declarer played ace and another diamond, throwing West on lead. Forced to give a trick in one or other major, West chose to lead into the heart tenace. Declarer made tricks with the 10 and king of hearts, then exited with the 10 of spades. His luck was in! West was endplayed for the second time had to concede a trick to South’s spade king. Game made. Did anything occur to you about the deal? West might have beaten the contract by throwing the king and queen of diamonds on dummy’s clubs. Against that, when declarer sees a diamond honour appear on the second high club, he can refrain from playing the third club winner. He can exit with a low diamond immediately, throwing West on lead.

What rebid would you choose on the West cards?


With only 13 high-card points, you are not strong enough for a ‘reverse’ of 2H. That would carry you beyond the safety level of 2D. You need around 16 points for a reverse bid, facing a two-level response. Facing a one-level response, which promises less strength, you would need more like 17 or 18 points to reverse. You should therefore rebid 2D, leaving any further move to partner. Award: 2D, — 10, 2H — 5, 2NT — 4.

David Bird — Knight Features